Stress Less Parenting

Bringing the joy back to parenting your children.

Fun breaks from screen time 

on May 9, 2016

Let’s face it: The computer, game system, and TV have become standard features of American childhood. A few stalwart parents avoid them altogether. More decide that they do offer kids many benefits and are hard to avoid forever. If you allow your child to watch TV and use a computer or video-game system, it’s wise to monitor daily consumption. And sometimes it’s good to just unplug for a while.

In need of some alternatives to tempt your elementary-school child away from the TV or computer screen? Try these:

  • Initiate some pretend play. Your child is still young enough to be tempted by a tea party, teddy bear picnic, circus, or secret mission. And he’ll be delighted by having Mom or Dad join in his play.
  • Play story games. Start a make-believe story (maybe starring your child). Spin the tale to a cliffhanger and then make it his turn to continue the saga. Go back and forth.
  • Rely on old standbys. Buy a large bucket of sidewalk chalk in many different colors and set him loose on the driveway or back patio. Buy or make soap bubbles. Compare how different the bubbles look when blown through a straw or with kitchen implements like strawberry baskets, sieves, and rubber bands.
  • Hunt for metal. Buy an inexpensive metal detector (available at toy stores or Amazon) and show your child how to make it work. Provide a spade to dig up the potential treasure.
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